The Noisey Guide to Australian Recording Studios
Looking for the perfect place to record your next breakthrough album?
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Looking to record your breakthrough album? It doesn’t need to cost your immortal soul to get top-notch results in Australia. With the rise of high-quality DIY recording methods, studios have had to up their game to stay competitive. This means you can access experienced engineers and expensive equipment for a reasonable price. Here are some of the local studios who have been instrumental in helping get many emerging Australian artists off the ground.
Head Gap - Coburg VIC
Neil Thomason and Finn Keane at Head Gap offer one of Melbourne’s most versatile and comfortable live recording environments. Designed by Richard Priddle, the 400 square metre industrial warehouse is equipped with multiple isolated recording booths with excellent sight lines, so you and your bandmates can maintain the eye contact and nonverbal communication you share onstage when recording. Instruments can be recorded simultaneously or in isolation, resulting in very accurate capturing of live feel and band dynamics. Head Gap is famous for their awesome multi track analogue tape facilities and is also equipped with the latest digital recording gear. With heaps of celebrated records under their collective belt, the Head Gap guys are very experienced at making bands sound huge. Plus you get the added bonus of being able to address emails “Hi Neil, Finn” while discussing your magnum opus.
Notable artists: Kim Deal, Dirty Three, Magic Dirt, Paul Kelly, Courtney Barnett, Dune Rats, Big Scary, Beaches, Adalita, My Disco, Augie March, Even,Twerps, Pikelet, Heirs, Violent Soho, Wagons, Regurgitator, Jen Cloher, Will Oldham, Self Defense Family, Vampillia.
Anna Laverty - Sing Sing Studios, Cremorne, VIC
Anna Laverty is one of Australia’s best upcoming producers. She specialises in live tracking bands to capture their vibe in the studio. With heaps of experience working internationally in the realm of pop, rock and indie, Anna is perfectly suited to polishing your potential pop nuggets into slick airwave conquering gems. She’s been involved with many of the most successful Australian acts in the last few years. Anna is also sought after as a production mentor and tours the country with the APRA Songmakers program.
Notable artists: Courtney Barnett, Peep Tempel, Florence and the Machine, Cut Copy, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Kate Miller- Heidke, San Cisco, Bloc Party, Fucked Up, The Temper Trap, Ruby Boots, Eagle and the Worm.
Chapel Lane Studios - Adelaide SA
They say the space helps shape the sound and if looks are anything to go by, Chapel Lane Studios will impress. The studio is built inside a fully renovated 1882 Congregational Church; the live room is approximately 50 square meters with a 4-meter high ceiling. Artists like Hilltop Hoods, The Audreys and Lowrider have each frequented the old church for recording and mastering.
Hothouse Studios – St Kilda VIC
Specialties: Hothouse’s secret weapon is the world class Neve console (Featuring 24 Neve 1073 mic preamps), the same desk that is featured in Dave Grohl’s Sound City documentary and is highly sought after by recording artists worldwide. Craig and Jez are also seasoned producers and can offer you creative advice and production assistance. This studio also has a huge range of amps and instruments available for acts to use when recording, which can be especially handy if your bedroom acoustic fretless bass tone isn’t quite cutting it in the studio environment.
Notable Artists: Oasis, Killing Heidi, Paul Kelly, The Bellrays, Ollie Olsen, Midnight Juggernauts, Dan Sultan, Damn Arms, Jet, Franz Ferdinand, Children Collide, Blues Explosion, Radio Birdman, Josh Abrahams, Money For Rope, Airbourne, Magic Dirt, Piss Christ, Schifosi, Stella Angelico, Dallas Crane, The Living End, Boredoms, Christine Anu, You Am I, Underground Lovers, Gutter Gods, Something For Kate.
The Alamo – Brighton East, VIC
The Alamo is a new studio situated in the bayside location of Brighton East in Melbourne. Run by Daniel Caswell (house engineer from the infamous Melbourne dive bar The Liberty Social Club) the studio specialises in recording indie guitar music, metal, hardcore and rock. If you like working with engineers with their finger on the pulse and you want your recordings to sound fresh and vibrant, The Alamo can help you out.
Notable Artists: The Reptiles, Horace Bones, Khyber Belt, Beneath The Lies.
Red Planet Studios – Hobart, TAS
Red Planet has made their name internationally as the studio of choice for Tasmanian technical metal act Psycroptic. The connection with the band has now grown even stronger with Psycroptic guitar genius Joe Haley coming on board as in-house producer. If you’re interested in making cutting edge metal or extreme music with a leading international metal professional (and like the idea of going somewhere dark, grim and esoteric to do so) Red Planet could be your destination. With analogue 24-track tape and digital recording options plus a great range of vintage gear, Tasmanians can rejoice at having a world class studio producing internationally acclaimed records operating from their home state.
Notable Artists: Psycroptic, Ruins, Luca Brasi, The Wizar’d, Violent Femmes.
Reel To Real Mix Master – Collingwood VIC
Nao Anzai’s studio is a diverse recording, mixing, portable tracking and mastering environment. This man knows how to record synthesisers better than anyone around, and can scale your project to meet your budget costs. From noise punk to orchestral prog to tropical indie and dance rock, Nao has worked on a huge range of smaller budget recordings that have gone on to do big things. He is also a specialist in surround sound recording and mixing. As a seasoned live engineer Nao will also focus on capturing your stage sound in the best possible light. His portable tracking setup means you can lay your tracks down in the place you feel most comfortable, minimising red light fever and leaving psychological room for you to produce your best performances. Plus he knows more about 70s prog rock than is healthy for any reasonable person to know.
Notable Artists: Wolfmother, NO ZU, Cash Savage and the Last Drinks, Vampillia, The Night Terrors, Laura, Tripod, Montero, Bushwalking, Terminal Sound System, Kim Salmon and the Surrealists.
Fremantle Recording Studios — Fremantle, WA
Fremantle Recording Studios is the most established studio space for Western Australian bands and musicians to finesse their recording chops. Over the years, super-producer whizz-kid Kevin Parker has used the space to work on music from his associated acts including Tame Impala, Pond and Melody’s Echo Chamber. The space also boasts an awesome blend of analogue and digital equipment.
M Deslandes Audio - Collingwood VIC
Mike Deslandes specialises in guitar and drum based music; metal, hardcore, punk, rock and everything heavy in between. Running a hybrid analogue/digital rig, Mike likes to keep the digital side to a minimum to let his fantastic outboard gear do most of the heavy lifting. If you want your brutal tracks to be extra mind-crushing, Mike is your guy.
Notable Artists: Cosmic Psychos, High Tension, Iron Mind, COLOSSVS, BLKOUT, The Nation Blue, Hoodlum Shouts, Coerce
Tufftones Music – Richmond VIC
Tony Espie is basically a mixing genius. A three-time ARIA Awards nominee (Best Engineer), he has been nailing it in the studio for over 30 years across every genre imaginable. Tony is a specialised mixing engineer, so once you’ve tracked your album elsewhere, zip it up, send it over and let him work his magic. Tony offers a fresh set of ears, extraordinary musical sensibility and the ability to breathe new life into your songs at the very crucial mixing stage. Tony has spent years working at the best studios in Australia, and thanks to recent developments in audio technology, his new facility at Tufftones can offer the same high end results without added expense of studio hire fees. If you are convinced this record is going to be your big breakthrough release, taking it to Tony to for mixing could lift it into the stratosphere.
Notable Artists: The Avalanches, Missy Higgins, Brous, Hunters and Collectors, Cut Copy, Midnight Juggernauts, TZU, Mercy Arms, The Night Terrors, New Buffalo, Alex Lloyd.
This article is presented in partnership with JD Future Legends